Black vinegar is an inky black vinegar aged for a rich, mellow, malty, woodsy and smoky flavor. It was first popularized in east Asia, particularly southern China, where in the city of Zhenjiang it became known as Chinkiang Vinegar. It is made from rice (usually glutinous), or sorghum, or in some combination of those, perhaps including wheat and millet.
Some promote black vinegar for its medicinal properties, as a tonic which may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In Japan, kurozu is a somewhat lighter form of black vinegar, made just from rice. It has been marketed as a healthful drink; research on kurozu has suggested it has anti-cancer properties in vivo on rats and in vitro on human cancer cells.
Black vinegar has been used as a full-flavored but less expensive alternate to Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
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